Pricing of electricity tariffs in competitive markets

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  • .Energy Economics 21 1999 213]223

    Pricing of electricity tariffs in competitivemarkets

    Jussi KeppoU, Mika Rasanen1 Helsinki Energy, Kampinkuja 2, PL 469, 00101 Helsinki, Finland


    In many countries electricity supply business has been opened for competition. In this paperwe analyze the problem of pricing of electricity tariffs in these open markets, when both thecustomers electricity consumption and the market price are stochastic processes. Specifi-cally, we focus on regular tariff contracts which do not have explicit amounts of consumptionunits defined in the contracts. Therefore the valuation process of these contracts differsfrom the valuation of electricity futures and options. The results show that the more there isuncertainty about the customers consumption, the higher the fixed charge of the tariffcontract should be. Finally, we analyze the indication of our results to the different methodsfor estimating the customers consumption in the competitive markets. Since the consump-tion uncertainties enter into the tariff prices, the analysis indicates that the deterministicstandard load curves do not provide efficient methods for evaluating the customersconsumption in competitive markets. Q 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

    JEL classifications: D4; L94

    Keywords: Electricity pricing; Stochastic demand; Competitive markets; Tariff design

    1. Introduction

    The Scandinavian countries provide the first multinational electricity markets,where traders can buy and sell electricity between nations. In this market area each

    U Corresponding author. Present address: Department of Statistics, Columbia University, New York, NY10027, USA. Tel.: q1 212 854 3652; fax: q1 212 663 2454; e-mail: jkeppo@stat.columbia.edu1Present address: Cap Gemini, Management Consulting, Nuttymaentie 9, FIN-02200, Espoo, Finland. E-mail:

    0140-9883r99r$ - see front matter Q 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. .PII: S 0 1 4 0 - 9 8 8 3 9 9 0 0 0 0 5 - 5

  • ( )J. Keppo, M. Rasanen r Energy Economics 21 1999 213]223 214

    individual customer can buy electricity from any company providing electricitysupply services. In Norway the markets were opened to all customers in 1993.Sweden and Finland followed this trend in 1995 when markets were opened forlarge and medium scale customers. In 1997 all customers were allowed to enterinto the free markets. In addition to the Scandinavian countries, the UK and NewZealand have already opened their supply business for full competition. Thecompetition in the supply business requires that distribution networks and nationalgrids must have equal pricing principles for each operator in the market. There-fore, the governments regulate the distribution business in all of the abovecountries at the moment.

    In this paper we consider the pricing of the electricity supply tariffs in thecompetitive markets. Specifically, we focus on regular tariff contracts which do nothave the explicit amount of consumption units defined in the contracts. The pricingof distribution services is not considered, since in the pure competition it shouldnot affect customers electricity supply contract decision. In the valuation of tariffs

    we assume that the additional services, i.e. billing services supply and transmis-.sion , reporting services, etc., are constants. Thus, they are added into the fixed

    charge of the tariff. In our analysis, the price of the supply service is derived fromthe customers hourly electricity consumption and the hourly energy price processes.The price process is observed from the electricity exchange places. Both, the priceand customers consumption processes are stochastic processes by their nature. For

    .a different analysis of consumption processes see, e.g. Brown and Johnson 1969 , . .Chao 1983 and Rasanen et al. 1995 .

    The measurement of customers consumption is one of the main issues in thecompetitive markets, since each supplier must have a balance between his salesand supply contracts. In each of the countries having free markets, the regulateddistribution companies are responsible for the customers energy measurements. InScandinavia, the energy measurement interval is 1 h. In UK and New Zealand, thetime span is 30 min. It would be simple for free competition, if all customers in themarket had measurement devices that collected these hourly or half-hourly energymeasurements. Unfortunately, the energy measurement devices are quite expen-sive. For example, in Finland the annual hourly measurement cost per customerwas approximately US$500 at the end of 1996. If a customer had 10% lower bills inthe free market than with his local supplier, his annual electricity bill should be atleast US$5000 to make it profitable for her to enter into the competitive markets.This is beyond the electricity bill of an average household without electricity space

    .heating see, e.g. Rasanen et al., 1997 . To solve this measurement problem and to give all customers a possibility to benefit from the free markets, an alternative tothe hourly or half-hourly measurements has been discussed. In Norway for exam-ple, the customers with small consumption are associated to a single standard loadprofile, which is scaled according to the customers past total annual or monthlybilling measurements. For different statistical approaches for building the standard

    . .load profiles see, e.g. Taylor and Lester 1975 , Bunn and Farmer 1985 , Bartels et . .al. 1992 and Rasanen et al. 1996 . The use of this standard load profile based

  • ( )J. Keppo, M. Rasanen r Energy Economics 21 1999 213]223 215

    method is also under parliamentarian discussion in Finland and in the UK.Therefore, we present a general analysis, which covers both standard load profilesand hourlyrhalf-hourly measurement. Methods to improve the standard loadprofiles are also discussed.

    In our pricing model, a single customer is interested only in the amount ofmoney that she will spend in her electricity consumption. This money amount is astochastic variable that depends on the electricity price and the amount ofconsumption at each moment of time. Because different customers have differentconsumption behaviors, the dynamics of the money amounts are different. Weassume that a single customer will consume electricity in the future according to agiven stochastic consumption model and we price the energy options on thatamount of money. Most of the electricity contracts in an electricity supplierscontract portfolio are these kinds of tariff-contracts.

    Energy is bought for consumption and it can not be considered as a tradableasset. Therefore, the market price of risk is liable to enter into the pricing of thetariff. We show how to evaluate this price of risk by using the futures prices on themoney amount that the customer will spend on consumption of electricity. Insteadof assuming that the variable underlying in the tariff design process is the moneyamount, we use the future price. In Scandinavia, electricity future prices can beobtained from the electricity exchange market places, e.g. NordPool, ELEX, etc.,where the electricity future contracts are traded. However, there are no standardinstruments for the money amount.

    The main contribution of this paper is that it develops a tariff pricing methodthat takes into account both the price and the consumption uncertainties. Theproposed methods have already been implemented as a part of the contractportfolio management system in Helsinki energy.

    The paper is divided as follows: Section 2 introduces the price and consumptionmodels used in the paper. The stochastic processes for the money amount that thecustomer spends on consumption of electricity as well the dynamics for futureprices are derived. These processes are then applied in the pricing problem. Thepricing rules are summarized in Section 3. A numerical example shows how themodel is applied in practice in Section 4. The main results of this paper aresummarized in Section 5.

    2. Consumption and market price models

    2.1. Price and consumption processes

    We consider an electricity market where energy instruments are traded continu-w xously within a time horizon 0,t . This kind of market exists in Scandinavian

    countries, where electricity producers and suppliers trade electricity 24 h each dayin a year. The market consists of a set of customers, M, and the number of

    ( )elements in M is n . Each customer m g M has consumption q t at timem m

  • ( )J. Keppo, M. Rasanen r Energy Economics 21 1999 213]223 216

    w x .t g 0,t . The total consumption at time t is q t . In describing the mmgM

    probabilistic structure of the markets, we will refer to an underlying probability .space V,F,P . Here V is a set, F is a s-algebra of subsets of V, and P is a

    probability measure on F. The following assumptions characterize our electricitymarkets.

    Assumption A1: The stochastic ariables of the market follow an Ito stochasticdifferential equation:

    . . . . .d x t s a x ,t d t q e x ,t dz t 1

    w x w x nmq1where a : R = 0,t R and e:R = 0,t R are gi en functions that satisfy .Lipschitz and growth conditions on x and z t is a standard Brownian motion on the

    . w x4probability space V,F,P , along with the standard filtration F : t g 0,t .tAssumption A1 guarantees the existence and uniqueness of the solution to Eq.

    .1 and it says that there are n q 1 independent Brownian motions in them .electricity markets. For electricity price Eq. 1 becomes

    . . . . . . .dW t s W t a t d t q W t e t dz t 2w w

    .where W is the energy price, and for the consumption of m g M Eq. 1 is

    . . . . . . .dq t s q t a t d t q q t e t dz t 3m m q m qm m

    . .Eqs. 2 and 3 mean that uncertainty in el